What makes you do it?

May 11, 2013 by


It seems like I’m on someone’s plane more often than not these days. I don’t mind flying but it forces the question: what to do with all that idle time?

In my case one would think maybe the answer would be to get in lots of writing, which is typically the plan going in, but the reality is more like this – half the time I’m sleep and the other half I’m deeply in thought.

The musings of Amir on a recent 6 hour flight to Peru mostly revolved around my annual fitness challenge, 6 weeks of high intensity interval sprinting workouts which began April 15th and are designed to significantly cut body fat and tone up this old body for another summer; its a personal trial which I’ve made public for this year and I’ve been really excited to hear all the great feedback from those of you ThriveQuesters who’ve decided to participate along with me. We’re currently in the midst of week #4 and I’m mildly surprised to hear how many of you are still going strong!

-side note- If you’re interested in joining us and trying your hand at sprinting for fat loss but this is the first you’re hearing of the challenge its probably because you haven’t yet joined our VIP email list or liked our Facebook page – not to worry, you can download the actual workout here.

The places my mind took me this evening went well beyond simple thoughts of excitement about another spring sprinting challenge and having some company for this misery this fitness fun; more specifically I began to ponder the reasons why I do these types of challenges at all.

You might think the answer is a simple one, I mean after all how many of us don’t have any fat that we’d like to say goodbye to once and for all? Who amongst us wouldn’t be happy to become a more toned, healthy and fit version of ourselves in six weeks?

So the short answer is yes, I do it to get myself back in top shape and I’d be kidding myself if I tried to pretend that some form of vanity wasn’t a motivating factor at the root of most people’s decisions to begin any workout routine. People want to fit into smaller clothes, show up at class reunions looking more like they did at graduation, or hit the beach with a body that makes folks get slapped by their spouse for staring a little too long.

I get all that.

For me though, there’s much more to it.

It’s really about the challenge of it all. It’s about making a decision to do a thing, and then actually doing it. It doesn’t have to be sprinting, working out or even anything fitness related at all; just something that’s worthy of my effort and sufficiently difficult to accomplish, something that forces me to overcome adversity, fear, doubts, age, excuses and anything else that stands in the way of my mission to grow, evolve, adapt and improve.

When it’s all said and done, I realize it’s the process just as much as the results that I crave. After six to eight weeks of sprinting I will look back at my calendar with pride and a great sense of accomplishment at the fact that I didn’t miss a single sprint (or other) workout. I’ll be proud of the fact that my diet was also on point and I followed my eating plan with at least a 90% adherence rate. I’ll look in the mirror and see a much more toned guy staring back at me with single digit body fat and abs like a 25 year old.

The determination, guts and willpower required to complete a challenge such as this with perfect attendance, an exemplary diet and having given full effort in your workouts are the prerequisites which allow you to pass your own mirror test at the end of the trial – but its the personal accomplishments and revelations along the way which will far outweigh any physical changes you may undergo as a result of your efforts.

Even more importantly though, developing that strength of will is what also will allow you to pass life’s many other tests – fitness or otherwise. Once you prove to yourself that you have the ability to decide on a difficult course of action and follow it through to completion, there is little that you’ll ever truly feel incapable of accomplishing once you set your mind to it.

People often ask me, once they see or hear of my workouts “what are you training for?” I’ve been known to respond simply, with a bit of a sarcastic twinkle in my eye


To be just one word, thats actually a many faceted response; in many ways though I say it because I think life is the only thing against which we must constantly measure ourselves. If you don’t continue to raise the bar of your own expectations and accomplishments, eventually you’re no longer truly living but just biding time.

At the end of the day, the only person to whom you ever truly should have anything to prove is yourself.

So these are some of the reasons that I do much of what I do – what would you say it is that motivates you the most in life?

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  1. Royalties, please! Lol!

    • Photo credit for this post goes to Miss MelHopkins2012. Copyright 2013 All rights reserved.

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